Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


This study attempts to gain insight into cross-racial therapy from the point of view of the clinician. Engaging in dialogues about race is one method identified in the literature that is said to facilitate the cross-racial therapeutic process. The primary research question is: What are the factors that influence whether a clinician discusses race in the cross-racial therapeutic encounter? This researcher hypothesizes that certain clinician characteristics, such as race, years of clinical experience, and graduate training affect the ways in which clinicians address racial difference in the cross-racial therapy. A quantitative survey was used to collect the data, and 56 social work clinicians entered the survey. While clinicians were well-represented across years of clinical experience and the time period of graduate training, there was an underrepresentation of clinicians of Color. The survey found that clinicians felt their graduate training to be generally adequate in preparing them to work with racially different clients, that participants generally felt comfortable and skilled working across race, and that clinicians often waited for clients to initiate discussions about race. Given the growing diversity in the United States and the disparity in therapeutic experiences for clients of different races, it is imperative that research focus on those aspects that facilitate the successful cross-racial therapeutic experience.


Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2008. iii, 78 p. Includes bibliographical references (p. 60-64)